Lebron James. You see people are now having GOAT arguments online about MJ vs Lebron. Did you ever see people debating about MJ vs Kobe for the GOAT? No, of course not, MJ was superior to Kobe in every way so that argument never happened. Now, personally I think MJ is still the unquestioned GOAT, but with Lebron there’s at least an argument. Compared to Jordan at least there’s some areas where he beats him, which is in rebounding and assists. Kobe has literally nothing over Jordan (81 point game or not) so there was no argument.
versus Kobe, it’s not really that close either. The only thing Kobe has over Lebron are rings and FT% (which is expected since he’s a guard and Lebron is a forward and generally guards have better FT%). One problem with casual basketball fans is that they equate rings with everything. Kobe has more rings -> better player right? Well no. Not all rings are equal. You gotta look at how many rings that player achieved as the best player on his squad. That’s why people don’t consider John Havlicek (8 rings) or Robert Horry (7 rings) as better than Michael Jordan for example, because they weren’t the best player on their teams.
For Kobe, only two rings can be counted with him as the best player on the team. I’m not gonna say Shaq carried him, but I will say that Shaq was most definitely the superior player on that team, he put up 30/15 every night that’s why he won 3 Finals MVPs in a row. Lots of Kobe fans try to minimize or downplay Shaq’s involvement to being ‘equal’ with Kobe. It’s not equal, cmon. Look at the VORP, look at the win shares, look at the plus/minus, look at the stats, Shaq was better during those playoffs period.
For Lebron all three of his rings he was the best player – and in two of those runs (2013 and 2016) he was the underdog. Those rings surpass Kobe’s rings, I think just because of how impressive his runs were. Kobe played such teams like the 2000 Pacers, 2001 76ers, 2002 Nets and 2009 Magic. None of those teams are all time great. Lebron faced a gauntlet of all time great teams including the Duncan Spurs Dynasty and the Warriors Dynasty (arguably the best team ever assembled on paper).
Not only that but Lebron beats Kobe in every other category including every advanced stat. MVPs, Finals MVPs, PER, True Shooting percentage, Plus/Minus, Win Shares, VORP, WP/48, every single one. He also has better raw stats as well 27/7/7 > 25/5/5.
He’s demonstrably more clutch (see graphic below)
Not only that, but he is breaking more of Kobe’s records as we speak. He recently just passed Dirk on the all time scoring list, he already passed Kobe on 30 point games, and will soon pass Kobe on all time FGM as well. There’s just no way any non-Laker non-biased fan can put Kobe ahead of Lebron by the time Lebron’s career is done he will have surpassed Kobe in nearly every category except for rings which I mentioned above, is misleading because Kobe wasn’t the best player for 60% of his rings.